Monday, April 20, 2015

The Tears of a Clown

There's this song that's helped me through some dark times about how you have value and nobody can tell you different:  "Beautiful" by Eminem.  I wish I could share it here, but some of the lyrics are pretty vulgar.  Oh wait....

You're welcome.

There's a certain point in the song that really stuck with me because I can relate to it.  Minus the cuss words, that section says, "I don't need no man servant Trying to follow me around, Laugh at every single joke I crack And half of them ain't even funny like "Ha!, Marshall you're so funny man, you should be a comedian!" Unfortunately I am, but I just hide behind the tears of a clown." 

I have been thinking about this concept for awhile now.  To me the "tears of a clown" idea is about how you've become known as a joker in a group, whether it's your group of friends, coworkers, or fellow activity people.  People just know you as the guy who has the best jokes or one-liners, so they know they can count on you for a laugh when they need one.  However, it gets to the point where you start to feel that your humor is the only reason they keep you around.  I've already talked before about how insecure I can get, so maybe this is just that talking, but I'm sure anyone else who's become the group comedian knows what I'm talking about.  They like you because they make you laugh.  So much so, that they don't really know the real you.  They don't know that the comedy may be just a way of disguising things like insecurity or depression.  And, when you really do have something serious to talk about, people probably won't take your concerns very seriously.  Again, this may just be me, as I have had a problem getting people to take me seriously pretty much my whole life.  But, I'm kind of not thinking so.  There are at least two other guys that you have probably heard of that would know what I mean.  If only they were still with us...

One was Chris Farley.  He was known for being the funny, fat guy on Saturday Night Live and in movies like Tommy Boy or Billy Madison.  This man truly had some "tears of a clown," though.  This guy suffered from severe insecurity, depression, and a serious drug problem.  He never knew if people were laughing with him or at him, which I am very familiar with.  He even got in a physical fight with David Spade once because he felt left out of Spade's night of fun with Rob Lowe.  He eventually died of a drug overdose on October 25, 1997.  

The other, of course, is the Captain himself, Robin Williams.  I believe he summed up my point better than I could with this quote:  

This man is one of the funniest men who ever lived.  That's not just my opinion, that's a fact, Jack!  But, I think the world now knows at least a small part of who he really was.  He had severe depression, which his fellow actors now confirm that they were suspicious about for a log time.  Ethan Hawke, who acted with Williams in Dead Poets Society, now says that he could always tell that Robin wasn't happy, and it made him sad because Williams gave them all so much joy, but he felt like none of them were making him as happy as he made them.  He committed suicide last August, and I think his death was the saddest I've ever been about a celebrity death.

At first, I assumed I was sad because the world had lost such a great comedian and actor.  I had just seen Patch Adams shortly before this happened and wondered why he couldn't take his own advice.  But, now I know the truth.  I can relate with him being the funny man who tries to hide his pain inside.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not really sure why I'm writing all of this down.  Maybe I'm just trying to vent.  But I also want everyone to think about the people they know and think twice before they pin a label on somebody.  You probably don't know half of who they are.

Still, as a clown, I feel obligated to finish with something funny here, but I can't think of anything right now, so I'll let the master do it.


  1. I agree with this post very much. Only by the grace of God do we get the chance to really know someone, and it's so easy to just try to know them in a way that makes you comfortable (or the opposite, if it's someone you don't want to love).

  2. Replies
    1. Keep your head up, smile, and know that I am always always here for you and with you.